Summary: This sermon is the First and Foundational sermon in the second half (Part 2) of the series, "Living the Life" which is based on the General Heading of the Natural and Spiritual work of the Holy Spirit.
The Natural and Spiritual
Work of the Holy Spirit
A Practical Doctrine on the Holy Spirit
Living the Life Sermon Series II
The Fruit of the Spirit
The Foundation Sermon
The Un-Forbidden Fruit!
July 16, 2006
Text: Galatians 5:13-26
Happy are those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread
or sit in the seat of scoffers.
Galatians 5:16, 22-23 (NRSV)
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not
gratify the desires of the flesh…
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control.
As an introductory hymn for the Hebrew (Israelite) Hymnal the Hebrew writer writes the song, Psalm 1 as a warning and admonition. Admonishing the worshippers not to do what are forbidden, those things not pleasing in God’s sight. The Lyricist is especially advising the Israelites not to follow the lifestyles of wicked people, those who continually sin. He adds that they should not sit in the seat of judgment or act like arrogant judges. Here, this hymnist simply cautions and then informs the worshippers that the end result of doing such is the destruction of those who live wickedly.
“Contrarily”, the author comments, “Be like those who obey the law and are deemed righteous.” Those who aren’t living a forbidden life, doing or practicing forbidden actions. Thus, those who do not their end is destructive—death! Eating like Adam and Eve, the forbidden fruit. To do so means death and a departure from God. However, those who live a lawful—law abiding life would prosper; in simple terms, be blessed by God.
I find how easy it is to follow our friends’ ways of living. Even believers are swayed quickly into thinking that the worldly life is exciting and fulfilling. We watch their nice cars and homes and their children attend the best school in the area. On the outset they seem to have a happy life—they have membership in the yacht club or part of the Lion’s Club, you know the elite groups. Again, from the outside or outer appearance they have a wonderful and joyous life.
We are so easily caught up in watching our friends or neighbors living a sinful lifestyle that soon we pick up their traits, we pick up their habits. But the Bible says those who live unholy shall fall like Adam and Eve our fore parents did and die in utter destruction! Hence, the author admonishes the law abiding citizens [of Israel], the worshippers of Yahweh not to follow their wicked ways. Rather, be holy and be planted by water; be nurtured, taught by God’s Law. For when trouble comes, the evil doers will surely blow away like chaff and wither. But, the Lord watches over the way of the righteous because they eat the nuggets of the Law.
Now we are Christians and we are on this side of grace. In effect, we are no longer nourished by the Law. The nuggets or fruit of the law we no longer eat. As redeemed—called out ones, we live solely by the Spirit; we are planted by the rivers of spiritual waters. That is to say, we drink and are nurtured by the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and the Giver of life. Thus the Apostle Paul says, “Live by the Spirit, [be fed by the Spirit] and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.”